Fix: Microsoft Windows Search Indexer High CPU Usage

It is common to face high CPU or disk usage due to the Microsoft Windows search indexer. It is an essential Windows process that is used to index items for the Windows search.

This issue mainly occurs when the Windows search service stops working or there is a problem with the Windows search database. These two are the main reasons that often trigger this issue.

1. Restart Windows Explorer

The first and basic solution is to restart Windows Explorer. Restarting Windows Explorer is like restarting Windows. Both solutions are used to restart the essential services, taskbar, and other Windows components simultaneously.

This often fixes various different temporary Windows issues or errors, so it is recommended to restart Windows Explorer.

To restart Windows Explorer, follow the steps:

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Once it is opened, right-click Windows Explorer and select Restart.
  3. Once it is restarted, check if the issue is resolved or not.

2. Restart the Windows Search service

Windows search service is an important part of Microsoft Windows search indexer. If this service is experiencing a problem while running in the background, such as third-party application interference, etc., you will encounter this issue. Therefore, try restarting the Windows search service manually to fix this issue.

To restart the Windows search service:

  1. Press the Win + R keys to open the Run Program.
  2. Enter services.msc in the search box and click OK.
  3. Find the Windows Search service and right-click on it to select Properties.
  4. Stop the service, change the startup type to Disabled and click Apply and click OK.A
  5. Open Task Manager and wait for CPU or disk usage to reduce.
  6. Once done, go back to the services.msc and change the startup type to Automatic, click Apply and click OK.
  7. If the issue persists, move on to the next method.

3. Configure Indexing options

You may have incorrect indexing options settings, preventing the Windows search indexer from working correctly, which is causing high CPU or disk usage. Hence, try configuring the indexing options correctly by following the steps.

  1. Press the Windows key and type Indexing options.
  2. Open the settings, and click Modify.
  3. Here check all of your disks except Internet Explorer History and other folders.
  4. Once done, click OK and click Close to save the changes.
  5. Now open Task Manager to see if the error is fixed or not.

4. Rebuild Search Indexer

Rebuilding the search indexer means you are going to delete the whole database of Windows search and replace it with a fresh database. Rebuilding the search indexer database will eliminate the fragments, reorders the index rows, and reclaims the disk storage.

Since the Windows search indexer is causing high CPU or disk usage, rebuilding the database has the potential to fix this issue. To do so, follow the steps.

  1. Click Start Menu and search for Indexing Options.
  2. Open indexing options and click Advanced.
  3. Finally, click Rebuild and click Yes to start the process.
    It will take some time to complete the process, depending on your PC.
  4. Once done, you will see Indexing Complete at the top of the dialog box.
  5. Now open task manager and see if your problem is fixed or not.

5. Restore SearchIndexer.exe

Searchindexer.exe is responsible for indexing items in Windows search. It is also known as the Microsoft Windows search indexer, which is causing high CPU or disk usage in your case. Since this file is located in the system32 folder, it is an essential Windows process and file that can be repaired or restored by running the System File Checker utility.

SFC or System File Checker is a command line utility that is used to restore or fix protected system files if they get corrupted. Since SearchIndexer.exe is one of them, we can try restoring it using the SFC command.

  1. To do so, click Start Menu, and search for Command Prompt.
  2. Right-click the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. Once you launch the terminal, enter the following command and wait for it to be executed.
    sfc /scannow
    Restoring the Searchindexer.exe file
    Restoring the Searchindexer.exe file
  4. Once done, check if the issue still persists.

6. Scan Your Windows with the Antivirus Software

If all the methods have failed to fix this issue, your Windows may get affected by the malware or virus causing this issue. When we download and install pirated games or applications on our PC, they often leave malware in the Windows services, which prevents the Windows Defender from detecting it.

To counter this issue, you will have to use third-party antivirus software. There are various different antivirus software such as Avast and Rkill. You can use one of them to scan your Windows. However, if that also fails, then you can’t do anything apart from reinstalling or resetting Windows.

7. Reinstall or Reset Windows

Reinstalling or resetting Windows will surely fix this issue because it re-creates all the system files from scratch. If you choose to reinstall Windows, visit the article using the link. But if you want to reset Windows, follow this method.

Keep in mind resetting Windows won’t delete your data if you choose Keep my files option while resetting Windows. However, it will delete your drivers and programs installed on the system disk.

To reset Windows, follow the steps:

  1. Click Start Menu and type Reset this PC.
  2. Open the settings and click Reset PC to open the system reset settings.
  3. Select Keep my files > Local reinstall.
  4. Then, click Next and click Reset to start resetting Windows.
  5. Once done, now your issue will be resolved.

Search Indexer High Disk Usage or CPU Usage- FAQs

How do I fix Search Indexer high CPU or disk usage?

Restart the Windows search service by going to the service.msc Window. If the issue persists, try rebuilding the database of Windows search, which should fix the problem.

What causes Windows search indexer to consume high CPU or disk usage?

When there is a problem with the Windows search service or database, it consumes high CPU or disk usage. If that’s not the case, you may have malware or a virus on your PC, causing the Windows search indexer to consume high CPU or disk usage.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.
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Expert Tip

Fix: Microsoft Windows Search Indexer High CPU Usage

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